Browsing through a bunch of papers and stuff… a slip of paper… the quote:
“It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born and Gods greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you’ve been through.
The paper is yellowed, the ink is smudged. I mull the quote over in my mind – having done so many times before, I reflect on what it’s meant to me – what it means to me today. I know it’d be real easy to just think on the first part… the crucible part — the suffering part. Then it’s easy to move on to the dreams part and camp there for a while and consider what dreams have come from times in the crucible — the times of suffering. But my eyes leap to gifts. God’s greatest gifts. I can’t even carry — can’t even recount — all the gifts the Lord has given. You might not think this just looking at my life… you may see the high points, low points, the scattered tragedies of misunderstandings, losses, failings, joys and sorrows, blessings and wasted days. You may see all that and more… God sees a girl He’s redeemed.
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t see many things as gifts from God if I hadn’t been through the valleys I’ve been through. And I surely didn’t walk through them alone – I may not have seen this at the time, but I surely see now… looking back, God’s been with me through them all. ‘Seems He’s sometimes been with me in the front. Other times He’s been with me from behind. Sometimes my footsteps have left no imprint in the valley — those are the times He carried me through — and the print of the valley is on my heart. Still other times I see now that it was His hand firmly around mine that guided me through the dark.
I don’t see these valleys from mountaintops, not really — though the many mountaintops have been great blessings and cherished gifts. I actually see the valleys better when I’m in them. Recently, walking through a valley, I had the keenest sense of awareness that I’d passed this way before. A few times, actually. And I had the strangest yet most familiar feeling of security… the valley imprinted on my heart. And then I knew for sure… ahhhh, yes, Jesus has been this way — He followed me here… He watched over me here… He guided me here… He covered me here… and He carried me out.
I don’t know what you’re doing today – I don’t know what you’re going through — but I do know this: whatever it is, wherever you are: Jesus is near. You may not even know Him as Saviour and Friend, but He truly is near. Even if you’re in the darkest valley of despair – His hand is not shortened that it cannot reach you. Nothing you’re facing, nothing you’re going through, nothing that’s concerning you is a surprise to Him. Nothing escapes His merciful gaze. Do you know that? Do you know that in Him you *will* — you surely will — find all you need?
I’m praying for you right now. Turn around. Look… call on Him. If you, in faith, call on Him, He will — He surely will — answer you. Repent… turn your eyes upon Jesus; give Him your life. The Bible says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” — Romans 10.9 And you can rest in His Truth: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” — 1John 1.9
He will live in your heart… whatever you’ve been through. He tell you that you’re clean and forgiven. His love for you will say: welcome home.